Gary Denbo was the first, but he’ll be far from the last.
Well, ok, that’s not entirely accurate. Don Mattingly was technically first, and there is no indication that his old teammate/new boss Derek Jeter is about to let him go, but Denbo was the first hire direct from the Yankees’ organization that served as the platform for Jeter’s meteoric fame and success.
Why stop there, though? As our friends at Pinstripe Alley noted recently, New York was the only stop for the Captain in a 20 year career, where else would he have had an opportunity to make the kind of connections necessary to fill out a major league front office?
So who else could we see hopping on a plane to Miami?
Jim Hendry's name continues to come up re: Marlins, but source says Hendry hasn't spoken with Miami.— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) October 9, 2017
Jim Hendry is currently a special assistant for the Yankees. He also served as general manager for the Chicago Cubs from 2002 to 2011, bringing the Cubs to the post-season three times in that span (and five outs away from a World Series appearance in 2003 — you might remember that story). Scuttlebutt is that he might take on the same role with the Marlins.
And then, of course, there is the Core Four: Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada, and Mariano Rivera. The latter three are all still involved with the Yankees in some capacity, working special projects, making honorary appearances. Arguably few people have Jeter’s trust more then his longtime battle buddies, and it would be stunning if one or more of them didn’t end up at Marlins Park.
Bernie Williams is still out there somewhere, strumming a guitar. He looks good in a suit, surely we can find a spot for him.
You could also throw Tino Martinez’s name out there, though his involvement is murkier due to the abrupt ending of his previous stint with the organization.
From a personal vantage point, the assured Yankee-fying of the Marlins is admittedly garnering mixed feelings. If this were happening to the Mariners, the thought of, say, Tino Martinez or the like potentially dressing down Edgar Martinez* for the offensive performance of his hitters would make me queasier than downing a cup of grasshoppers at the cantina that bears the latter’s name. After all, the Core Four were directly responsible for the ultimate demise of the great Mariners teams near the turn of the century.
*I know this would never actually happen, as all potential Yankees involved have expressed great admiration for Edgar.
Addressing it from purely a Marlins perspective though, there’s also a tinge of excitement and hope that the influx of talent that helped the Yankees so much on the field a decade (or two) ago would some how rub off on the Fish. Further, it was the Marlins that put a stop to the dreaded Yankee machine back in 2003: When anyone thinks of Yankees/Marlins, it should really only conjure up happy memories.
Derek Jeter and company want to go about establishing a “winning culture” in Miami, and it appears a part of that plan might be bringing a little bit of that Yankee culture down south. Old running buddies aside, bringing the pinstripes wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world: